French parents have been warned that they could face future legal action from their children if they post pictures of them on social media without their permission.

Under France's strict privacy laws, parents could face up to a year in prison or fines of up to €45,000 (£35,000) if found guilty of publishing intimate details of the private lives of others, including their children, without their consent.

Legal experts said that adults who sue their parents for publishing pictures of them when they were children without their permission could receive substantial compensation.

Viviane Gelles, a lawyer specialising in internet-related issues, told Le Figaro that parents should consider how their children will feel in later life about having their pictures published on Facebook and other sites.

"Children at certain stages do not wish to be photographed, still less for those photos to be made public," he said.

French police recently warned parents of the dangers of posting pictures of their children naked online claiming they could be targeted by paedophiles. "Posting photos of your children on Facebook is not without danger... Protect your children!" said a warning on the Facebook page of the Gendarmerie.